Nathan Mendelsohn’s American BJJ Player Blog: Gold in First Black Belt Tournament, Nail Biter of a Match!!

 Hey guys!


This last weekend I made my debut at black belt at the All Star #2 here in Santa Cruz and am excited to say I was able to come away with the victory! I only had one opponent, the tough as nails Tanner Rice of Alliance, last year’s brown belt lightweight world champion. It would be the fifth time the two of us have faced each other with the score being 2-2 going into the match. I knew how tough his guard was from the last four times we fought each other but I believe in my pass and even though I had never been able to pass his guard in the past I told myself that this time I would. The match was closely contested the entire time and as the time ran down I made the mistake of reading the scoreboard wrong and believing I was ahead by one advantage when I was really behind. Realizing this with only a minute and a half left and finding myself locked tight in my opponent’s 50/50 guard, I knew I had to act fast. Still, I stayed calm and told myself that the match was still mine. With thirty seconds left and still locked in the fifty fifty I made one last push, worked out of the fifty fifty dove for the guard pass and with ten seconds left was able to stabilize and get the three points for the win. It feels amazing to start off my career as a black belt on a good note with a win against a very tough opponent. Now its time to look forward to the pan which is only a month away and take the confidence from this win and let it motivate me to get back in the gym and train even harder toward accomplishing the next goal! I’ll put up a video of the fight as soon as I can get a hold of it! Thank you to all my friends, instructors and training partner’s for the training and support!! Thank you to my sponsors Scott Nelson and OTM and Matt Slatter and Slatter Construction for the continued support as well!! Osssssssssss


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Nathan Mendelsohn